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Posted on May 26, 2013 by Teresa Cannata'

Animal-shaped jewellery has a certain extravagant spirit that never ceases to surprise and attract me. From the iconic Bestiary collection by Cartier to the Lanvin insect brooch from the spring 2011 collection, endless are the designers who have found inspiration in the animal world. Nowadays most of fashion doesn’t have that unexpected edge it used to have in the past, so the point is not “who made it first” but “who makes it better”. ‘s creations surely fall into the second category. The Italian designer, who has jewellery (her father is Bernard Delettrez) and fashion (her mother is Silvia Venturini Fendi) in her blood, has distinguished herself with her quirky creations since 2007. Macabre and surrealism are her cup of tea, but she’s also given new life to animal-shaped jewellery.



To Bee or Not to Be are probably among my favourite earrings ever, beautifully detailed bee-shaped earrings made of silver and enamel. They’re not Delfina’s most notable or outrageous designs but exhude a quiet and refined mood which I find very appealing. Finished with push-back closures, they are modelled after two different types of bee – a queen bee (with a bigger body and wings) and a worker bee (with tapered body and wings). Choosing bees as models for jewellery is not banal: these flying insects are symbols of rethoric, resurrection, temperance and even perfection in many different cultures. Moreover, Napoleon’s ermine-lined purple velvet cloak was decorated with gold bees and some Guerlain fragrances are still contained in the characteristic beehive bottle, designed in 1853, when Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain became the Empress Eugénie’s official perfumer.

The bond between bees and humans is very strong, after all, and Delettrez’s quirky earrings represent another little example of how animal symbolism can find a place in culture.